Dear Carpathian Community, 

Why do the Carpathians need cooperation more than ever?


Cooperation is in our nature, and nature needs our cooperation! We need to proactively unite around ambitious targets to address the environmental emergencies, and cooperation between initiatives has become essential in that. The Carpathian region and its communities are more efficient when they work and act together across borders and projects. Cooperation builds trust, it connects us working towards the same goals and brings benefits for all of us cohabiting in the Carpathian region! That is why the Carpathian projects CentralparksConnectGREEN and SaveGREEN, which all focus on protecting the green treasures of the Carpathians for the benefit of nature and people, decided to join forces. Supported by the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention, our projects work closely together to equip and provide public authorities, Carpathian protected area managers, interest groups, researchers and economic players and others with tools and knowledge that will support them to tackle the most common threats facing the Carpathians. 

Keep reading to get to know more!


Meet our Carpathian projects:
Centralparks - Building management capacities of Carpathian protected areas for the integration and harmonization of biodiversity protection and local socio-economic development

For the last two years, the Interreg Centralparks project has been working tirelessly to develop tools and documents for decision-makers, which will improve management capacities of Carpathian protected areas. These tools aim at keeping biodiversity and landscape conservation in the focus while enhancing local sustainable tourism development, integrated nature conservation planning, effective ecosystem services assessment, and successful communication with local Carpathian communities.

Centralparks is proud to announce, that with the joint effort of various Carpathian expert groups (Thematic Transnational Task Forces), the following documents have been finalized and will be published soon:

  • Joint Strategic Document on raising good Protected Areas management capacities – a Toolkit on innovative methods in conservation planning
  • Draft Carpathian Strategy for enhancing biodiversity and landscape conservation outside and inside protected areas
  • Draft Strategy for local sustainable tourism development based on the natural and cultural heritage of the Carpathians
  • Guidelines on communication between protected areas and local communities in the Carpathians

The next steps in the project are the finalization of further strategic documents: the Carpathian Ecosystem Services Toolkit, the Forest state evaluation protocol, the Grassland state evaluation protocol, as well as Guidelines for integrated nature conservation planning. In the following months, pilot actions will take place in Poland, namely in Pieniny National Park and Magurski National Park, as well as in the Bílé Karpaty Protected Landscape Area within the Czech Carpathians, and Slovakia. More information will follow soon!

Rosalia longicorn beetle in Danube-Ipolny National Park © DINPI

ConnectGREEN - Restoring and managing ecological corridors in mountains as the green infrastructure in the Danube basin

Since the start of the ConnectGREEN project in June 2018, continuous efforts have been made by both conservationists and spatial planners, with the active involvement of representatives of ministries, universities and other key stakeholders, to contribute to the maintainance and improvement of the ecological connectivity between natural habitats, including Natura2000 sites and other protected area categories of transnational relevance in the Carpathian ecoregion.

Specific tools and instruments have been jointly developed by the project in this respect, including:

  • Methodology for Identification of Ecological Corridors in the Carpathian Countries by Using Large Carnivores as Umbrella Species
  • International Action Plan on Conservation of Large Carnivores and Ensuring Ecological Connectivity
  • State of the Art Report on the existing planning systems and their application for ecological corridor identification and management
  • GAP analysis report on the identification of the needs for improving the planning processes and tools
  • Set of recommendations developed together with spatial planners to avoid/ minimise fragmentation of ecological corridors and Natura 2000 sites
  • Maps with the distribution of target species, core areas, ecological corridors and critical barrier sites in each pilot areas, etc.

In the next period, ConnectGREEN will further contribute to improving connectivity in the Carpathians and consolidating the cross-sectoral cooperation between conservationists and spatial planners by:

  • Elaborating a roadmap for integrating ecological corridors into spatial planning
  • Finalizing the Decision Support Tool for decision making
  • Finalizing the Action Plans for improving connectivity in all pilot areas
  • Organizing the “Protected areas – cornerstones of ecological connectivity in the Carpathians and beyond” International Conference

ConnectGREEN in the Carpathians © Cristian Remus Papp

SaveGREEN –Safeguarding the functionality of transnationally important ecological corridors in the Danube basin

The Interreg Danube Project SaveGREEN deals with the functionality of ecological corridors in Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine, asking the following question: is the structure of an ecological corridor, the equipment with favourable landscape features, sufficient to support animal movement overcoming bottleneck areas such as green bridges or other passing structures of grey infrastructure or settlements? This is what the project consortium explores together with stakeholders across all relevant sectors at all levels, from local to international. 

The main objective of the project is therefore to foster cross-sectoral and transnational cooperation and to build knowhow regarding the development of concrete solutions for the improvement, restoration and preservation of the functionality of key ecological corridors in the Carpathian, Alpine and Bulgarian mountain valleys, where human activities as well as critical points for wildlife migration concentrate, and thus, conflicts are highest. The main objective will be achieved through

  1. Increasing knowledge/experience among relevant authorities and stakeholders through capacity building programmes
  2. Cross-sectoral joint planning of robust measures securing connectivity based on dialogues and science
  3. Establishing international and national governance frameworks that provide support towards maintaining ecological corridors. 

Almost one year into the implementation, a tool for monitoring functional connectivity in relation to structural connectivity is being developed, which will soon be applied in 8 pilot areas across the Danube region. The application toolbox will comprise a field monitoring tool that allows easy data collection and data upload on a server for analysis and will subsequently display results on the Carpathian Countries Integrated Information System. Local cross-operational plans will be elaborated with relevant stakeholders indicating recommendations for the improvement of the functionality of ecological corridors related to agriculture, forestry, transport, spatial planning and water management. 

The project consortium led by WWF Central and Eastern Europe consists of 13 partners from different fields of expertise based in Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.

Turiec in Slovakia for SaveGREEN © Rastislav Stanik

The CNPA website gets a makeover

Based on the current website of the Carpathian Network of Protected Areas, the new website design will allow easier website navigation and facilitate you to find the content you’re looking for.

It will focus on highlighting the latest Carpathian updates as well as showcasing multimedia content from the members of the Carpathian Network of Protected Areas. Furthermore, more space will be given to upcoming events to let you know what’s happening in the realm of Carpathian protected areas´ management.

Stay tuned for the next Carpathian events

For more information on the Carpathian events, visit the website of the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention


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Interreg Centralparks
European Academy of Bozen-Bolzano (Eurac Research)
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